Friday, May 17, 2019

5. Sex It Right


Photo by luizclas from Pexels



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“I know that if I just lose some weight, I will be one of the hottest girls,” her friend said.
“I am closing in on my mid-30s and I still haven’t done it,” said another one.

She wondered what is making these two strong, independent women who are close to a decade apart, deal with similar challenges.

Both are in two very different and yet similar life situations. While one is just looking for a boyfriend the other is looking to find a husband. The shots however, are still called by the male in the scenario.

Want a boyfriend? Lose some weight so that you are attractive enough for a man.
Want a husband? Don’t be fooled by the false illusion that your choices, wants and demands are of any importance. The man will lay down his rules and you will have to find ways to obey them.

Obviously, it is not so blunt in real life, but the gist of it is the same. Sugar coating won’t turn an arm-twist into a handshake.


****

Growing up, we have all watched movies like ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ and ‘Bridget Jones Diary’. Both the movies in a way shame or make fun of the protagonist who hasn’t had a sexual experience during the society stipulated “acceptable age”.

If you are an Indian or have a favourable knowledge about Indian parenting, you would know that this “acceptable age” is the day you get married. Of course, the times are changing and kids are discovering things on their own. So, even if one starts dating at the age of 16, they will still pretend to be naïve at 26 in front of their parents.

I wonder why we have such a stigma about sex in our society. To start off, due to the lack of proper sex education, teenagers are out to fetch for themselves. If in the process they explore their sexuality, it is a ‘hawww’ moment. If they don’t explore their sexuality in their teen years, then they may be ridiculed within their friend circle. So in either situation, one has to face wrath somewhere.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Fat shaming or not?




It is a long day at work today and I am really craving something sweet. I check all the three food delivery apps on my phone, looked at all the delicious items that were on offer and then closed the app.

Got back to work.

I once again started wondering about the food. I drank some water, I had read somewhere that at times when you feel hungry, you are actually just thirsty. The water felt good. But the craving didn’t go away.

I wasn’t hungry, I was just craving something sweet.

I took into account all the things that I have eaten that day, everything was healthy. Not salad healthy, but home cooked healthy.

I finally give in and order waffles.

When the waffles arrive, everyone in my office who see me eating say, “wow! How can you eat so much sweet? Haww! I am toh off sugar to lose some weight and get fit.”

Friday, May 10, 2019

Celebrity Style Decoded - 2

Dress like your favorite Celebrity, here's where you can buy outfits similar to what your favorite celebrity was wearing while sticking to your budget!






Deepika Padukone wore this amazing yellow fitted, mermaid hem vintage gown by designer Zac Posen, she layered it with a patterned coat. While we know it is too hot in India to wear that Coat, we did find you a similar looking yellow maxi dress, it is perfect for the summer!

In winter, however, you can dawn the entire look complete with the oversized coat.



Here are a few link where you can find something similar, 
Amazon: 
  1. https://amzn.to/2H5SvTK - Although this one isn't a perfect fit but it is deal in for the Indian Summer
  2. https://amzn.to/2DVGiAr - This is so close to the real one, you can pull this off just like this or with a jacket on top

SheIn: 
  1. https://www.shein.in/Double-V-neck-Maxi-Tank-Dress-p-645358-cat-1727.html - This one again is a close on to what Deepika is actually wearing
  2. https://www.shein.in/Lace-Up-Back-High-Low-Cami-Maxi-Dress-p-365458-cat-1727.html?_prot=1 - While this is a twist on Deepika's outfit, while we are sticking to the yellow maxi dress idea, we have jazzed it up and added an ooph factor

Myntra:
  1. https://www.myntra.com/dresses/label-ritu-kumar/label-ritu-kumar-women-yellow-colourblocked-maxi-dress/9002725/buy - a bit out there but this Ritu Kumar's Yellow Colourblocked Maxi Dress can be a statement dress that you can own




Ananya Pandey who is currently super busy with 'Student of the Year - 2' is giving us super causual and wearable outfits this summer

You can buy this outfit here, 
SheIn:
Tops:

Skirts:
  1. https://www.shein.in/Floral-Print-Tie-Waist-Wrap-Skirt-p-713141-cat-1732.html - This is the closest I could get
  2. https://www.shein.in/Satin-Floral-Wrap-Midi-Skirt-p-718389-cat-1732.html - This one is another option, I think this would look great if you wear it for a semi-professional look
  3. https://www.shein.in/Waist-Knot-Asymmetrical-Hem-Solid-Skirt-p-696522-cat-1732.html - This one is for those who don't link the floral print, you can still get the look with this skirt
Myntra:




Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Ananya Panday are all sporting the Denim Jumpsuit, why shouldn't you then?

Here's where you can buy it, 

Amazon:
  1. https://amzn.to/2Vp7PVo - This is close to what these ladies are wearing
  2. https://amzn.to/2J8gS6U
  3. https://amzn.to/2VnV1ib - If you want something shorter or smarter, this could be it

Myntra:
Jabong:




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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

How to nurture butterflies in your balcony


The very first time I saw a caterpillar  on my lemon plant, I freaked out. It looked too big and scary. Unaware about what to do next, I just cut the branch out and threw the caterpillar  away. (I am sorry)

A few weeks later, I saw another caterpillar ; I was worried that some pests had attacked my plant. I immediately went to the kitchen and started making my organic pesticide. The caterpillar s disappeared for a few months, only to make a comeback. This time I took to twitter, in a desperate need to connect with other Urban Gardeners who may have faced similar problem. That’s when someone pointed out that this was merely a harmless caterpillar  who someday would turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Now I decided to let the nature take its course, I let the caterpillar  be. I watched the caterpillar grow, he was joyfully eating away my lemon plant and growing a little each day. It became like a morning routine for me to wake up and go find on which part of the plant he was stationed at. Soon, I noticed other smaller caterpillar s on the plant – they literally were tiny and looked like bird shit.

I watched them grow, eat my plant and get stronger. Soon they started getting into their cocoon. This is where the problem began, a couple of days after they get into the cocoon the cocoon used to fall of the plant. After inspecting I realised that it’s dead.

I tried to figure what they problem is and then it dawned on me that my birds were a problem. You see, I also have a bird feeder. Sparrows, parrots and squirrels are my regular guests. I am assuming that they tried to eat the cocoon (this is my wild guess, I don’t have another explanation) and it the process, damaged it.

So I took it upon myself to make a DIY home for these caterpillars so that once they turn into a butterfly, I can release them into the world.

Here’s what I did,
  1. Decided to re-purpose an old 5 liter Bisleri plastic bottle
  2. Made a lot of holes across the bottle for ventilation. I even made holes on the cap
  3. Added two wooden sticks in the bottle. Ideally you should add branches, but I didn’t have any.
  4. Made a big flap on one side of the bottle, and sealed it with a cello tape. I will open this flap for the butterfly to fly away
  5. Cut the branch on which the caterpillar were and moved them into the bottle
  6. Added a few lemon or curry leaves to the bottle every day. I used the cap to add this
  7. And that was it! Once the butterfly emerged, I opened the flap and let it fly away

I tweeted the entire process, you can watch it here










Saturday, March 16, 2019

4. The not-so-strange stranger

                                                                                                      Photo by Chan Walrus from Pexels


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Phone chimes, informing her of a text message.

“Hi, I am here to deliver your Amazon package. Waiting below your office building, I am deaf and mute and thus cannot call you. Request you to please come downstairs,” it read.

She immediately replied that she was on her way and went downstairs. Once there, she could visibly notice that the delivery person was hassled. With a little bit of sign language that she had learnt, she asked him what the issue was. He signed back informing her that he had run out of his mobile balance and is unable to get in touch with this one other person in the building.

In an attempt to help him, she called the number from her phone,

“Hello,”  a man answered.
“Hi, this is Sarah, we work in the same building. Your Amazon parcel is here can you please downstairs and pick it up? The delivery guy is out of balance to make a call.”
“Oh! I am not at work right now, i'll reach by 4pm.”
“Is it okay if I keep the package with me? I work on the second floor, you can just come pick it up from me.”
“Sure, no problem.”
“Give me a call once you are here, i'll meet you near the elevator”
“Thank you”

She signed for both the packages and went back to work. Being a feature writer was always her dream, having accomplished that she loved her work and always strived to do better.

At around 4pm, she got a call.

“Hey, this is Danny, I am just coming upstairs”
“Sure, see you at the elevator in a second”

She reached elevator just as the door opened and a man, maybe in his mid 30s stepped out. He had a short beard, small eyes and wore a nice smile. She looked at him and thought, “he is cute!”

“Umm.. Sarah?”
“Yes, here,” she said handing him the package.
“Thank you,” he said and stepped back into the elevator to go upstairs.

The entire episode would not have taken more than 10 seconds but somehow it played over in her mind for the rest of the day.

The more she thought about it, she started analyzing him. He seemed older, could be married. He definitely seems like someone who will be married. But he is cute!

She wanted to talk to him, get to know him. Find out if he is married? Is he single? These are questions she needed answers to just so she could decide if there was any potential there.

A quick social media search was futile, she just understood that he was a Tech Writer. And by the looks of it, he knew what he was doing because there was absolutely no information about his personal life on the internet.

Some would call that creepy, in this day and age when everyone is live broadcasting their lives, this fellow had absolutely no online trace. Instead of finding it weird, she was amazed by it.

The next few days they kept bumping into each other, in the canteen, on her way to the office gym or just randomly in the corridors. There was an eerie awkwardness amongst them. They never smiled or acknowledged each other, don't be mistaken, they definitely registered each other’s presence, just didn’t make it obvious.

The stolen glances made her want to get to know him even more.

“You see that fellow there in light blue shirt? I find him really cute,” she told Ruhi during lunch in the office canteen.

Ruhi was her colleague and in the short time that they worked together, they had grown close. Instead of colleague, she now considered Ruhi as a friend who works with her.

“He is not really cute and I think he is a little older for you,” Ruhi was quick to dismiss him.

A couple of months later

Sarah and Ruhi had decided to go for dinner post work to this restaurant that is near the office. Due to the proximity, and the fact that it is open till late and is pretty affordable, the place was popular amongst the people who work in her office.

Sarah was waiting for Ruhi at the bar, a Caprioska by her side and book under her nose. Since her work involves reading and writing all day, reading for leisure was a forgotten concept. To counter that, she now carried a book with her all the time, the minute she gets some free time, she starts reading. While the main characters in the book were flirting with each other, Sarah sighed wondering if there is any romance left in her life. Just then the restaurant door swung open and she looked up, Danny entered.

He looked quite alluring even in his tired post-work look. Sarah returned her gaze back to her book, she didn’t want Danny to catch her eyeing him.

“May I take this seat?” Danny asked pointing to the bar stool next to her.
“Sure,” she said trying to control the glee on her face

He took the seat, ordered a whiskey on the rocks.

“So what are you reading?” he asked
She showed him the book cover, he read the name of the book and asked if she was liking the book.
“It is interesting, I am only half way through.”
“Acha, do you come here often?”
“Maybe two - three times a month, I am waiting for a friend actually.”
“I have seen you in the office couple of times”
“Umm.. me too. Well, since we work in the same building, we are bound to bump into each other”
“And still you never managed to say hi, or smile”
“You could do that too. Also, it is just a little weird. I mean, we don’t know each other”
“Let’s change that then, how about we meet here next friday, after work?,” he asked
“Umm.. sure”
“Until then, let’s just slyly check each other out in the office canteen”

While she looked at him stunned and a little embarrassed, he smiled and left the bar.






Monday, February 11, 2019

What I learnt from my Social Media Detox



Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

A breakup was all that was required to push me down the depression pit - cutting myself off from all friends, work and social media. It wasn’t what I would have ideally wanted but the loneliness that I imposed on myself was in a way, welcomed.

Getting off Social Media was something I was toying with, but since I have a blog, the urge to stay relevant in this (now) maddening world of “blogging” and “influencing” kept pushing me to churn out content. Once I stopped, it felt the compulsion to post was self-imposed.

While I am still not back on Social Media, only on Twitter and I blog when I feel like writing, I did learn a few things in the last 8 months of no social media.

I don’t need to know what's happening all the time!
When I am bored or have nothing at hand, I would subconsciously reach out to Instagram and check out stories and posts. To be honest, the stories weren’t that great – like I don't need 30 videos of the road, I understood you are on a road trip after watching the very first video.
Sitting without nothing to do used to be uncomfortable, my reading had gone for a toss because whenever I could find some time, I would while it away trying to catch up on what others were doing. Exactly, like the neighbourhood aunty you despise, just a digital version of her.

Once the pressure of posting things is gone, you actually start appreciating moments more
No one had told me that I had to post a picture of my food even before I ate it, but I did that anyway. And once the picture is posted, while I am eating my meal, I would be checking my phone to look for comments and likes on my post.
Enjoying a meal with friends? Mindful eating? What’s that?
Now, it is more about the company and the food, without worrying about posting a picture of what I am eating with people who are someplace else, not enjoying their meal.

 Friends knew I won’t check their stories or updates, thus started messaging me often to inform me, helped connect with a few friends who took that extra effort to stay connected
The most important change that I have noticed is that I started connecting with people more. Now, when I meet my friends, they have a chance to tell me what they did all week. Earlier, I used to watch what they did all week on their stories and then barely have anything to talk about once we meet.

I actually have time at hand!
You know how we always complain that we don’t have enough time? We cannot pursue a hobby, read a book, and spend time with loved ones because you never seem to find time to do those things? Well, that has changed a bit now, instead of scrolling through my social media feed, I read a page or two of a book or an article that I have saved on Pocket. I have enough time to catch up on my favourite shows and then indulge in some gardening as well.

So, in all, getting off social media doesn’t really seem that bad. Yes, there are occasional moments when I feel like sharing but my depression kind of gets in the way of actually making that effort and posting things. And at times, when I have to want to share things, Twitter is at my disposal.

As of now, I am enjoying this ‘ignorance is bliss’ phase; maybe I will get back on the social media when I am at a better mental state and really start missing the noise and mess.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Smart is the way forward









Back in the day, every one was in a race to be the most successful. Now, everyone wishes to get smarter each passing day. Governments are planning smart cities, we as a human race, is trying to reach out to other smarter species in the universe, engineers are making smarter computers. I, for a change, am trying to make my home smart – and I am pretty successful at that now.

The smart watch, fitness band, smart speaker, smart security cameras that I use in my daily life, has not only managed to make me even more productive but has also helped ease my life. I remember, as a child, my mother used to take care of all my requirements to get me out of the house on time for school, I can pretty much say that the smart devices in my house are now making me get out of the house on time for work.

The alarm on my smart phone is the reason I manage to wake up on time in the morning. For the workout, depending on my mood, I would go to the gym or workout at home. My Google Home plays a workout video on my TV or if I am in a mood to dance, will play my bollywood workout playlist. I have to admit, the sound quality is also one of the reasons I can keep up with the workout – you feel like dancing even more when the sound quality is nice, right?

Mind you, my Fitbit is tracking all of this activity; it kind of feels good that you have already completed 2k out of your daily 10k steps goal.

I like listening to old bollywood songs while getting ready in the morning, so of course the Google assistant is playing all the Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Kishore Kumar songs while I am getting ready. I also like that my Saavn app also shows all my favourites right on the home screen so I don’t have to waste time looking up the songs I like. I have also started enjoying podcasts, kind of like a food for thought without hindering your daily routine, so at times I skip the songs and listen to a podcast.

While I am getting ready to leave the house, my Google Assistant again comes into pictures and updates me about the traffic on my way to work, which route I should take and reminds me of my meetings and to-do list for the day.

I use Dropbox and Google Notes for most of my work. I am a journalist, writing down things and making notes is a huge part of my job. I like the easy that Dropbox and Google Note offers, they sync in the background and this way I can easily work on the same file from work, home and my phone. 

My dropbox is also synced with my camera, so if I take a picture on my phone it is automatically saved on my home PC, I don’t even have to transfer pictures anymore! The ease and comfort that these smart apps provide is unmatched and I always have all the required documents with me.

My phone reminds me to stay hydrated, my fitness band reminds me to stay active and the fitbit app on my phone counts the calories I eat so I have started opting for healthier food items. And when I have some time to spare and want to do something productive, I whip out the book from my bag and catch up on some reading, and for when I don’t have a book, my kindle is always by my side.

You can see how the smart technology is helping me stay on top of everything, right?

As I reach back home, my technology updates me on how well I have done and what needs to be done tomorrow. Constantly motivating me to outshine myself.

I generally spend some time with my technology, updating it. I take into account meetings for the next day, things to do etc. just a nice way of having everything in one place.

With the world moving at a break neck speed, you need to keep up with it in order to succeed. With smart products by your side, the task becomes easy and something that you can totally manage, because, it feels like you have an army of assistants even when you are a one man army.

The #SmartHomeRevolution is honestly what keeps the world running so well.

You can buy your smart devices from Flipkart, most of my things are from there as well. Flipkart has a wide range of Smart Products from  Smart Wearable, Smart Home, Smart Camera and Smart lights, so do #GetFitWithFlipkart


Sunday, December 23, 2018

3. Have you experienced that love?


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Have you experienced a love, where just the presence of that person calms you?

Provides you with peace.

Makes you feel like everything is perfect in the world, and nothing can take away the happiness from you.

That warm hug that you crave at the end of the day. A cuddle with him on the weekend is better than the most happening party in the town.

A love, that gives you the energy to go meet him even at midnight, because the love gives you that adrenaline rush that takes away the tiredness and sleep.

You are thanking your stars and are grateful that you found this wonderful person in this maddening world.

Every time, your friends crib about how pathetic and difficult dating is these days, you do a silent prayer thanking god that the one you fell in love with is not like that.

And then, one fine day, he ghosts you.

6 months later, you are just sitting there – stumped, depressed and unhappy. Hoping that he would call, hoping he would get in touch. Hoping…  



                                                                                                                                                 Next

Sunday, November 25, 2018

2. Too early to get married?





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Three years have passed.

It was a breeze, she ensured that she made the most of her college life, learnt everything possible during her academic years, submitted projects and assignments on time, actively participated in college fests and other events, was the class representative for all three years, completed three internships and all was well.

The professor and she had also started texting each other – harmless, cute to an extent.
It couldn’t go any further anyway, she already had a boyfriend. They had been dating for close to 5 years then. Things weren’t great with them at the moment but they were still working it out. Rahul was six years elder to her, obviously he always reached different stages of life before she did. The only ‘grown up’ thing that she did before Rahul was earn money; she had been working in plays as a child actress. Acting never really came to her naturally but it was something she explored as a hobby, always knowing that she wanted to write for a living.

So, Rahul was now in the ‘Wedding Phase’ all his friends were getting married or popping kids and his family also had started pressurising him to get married. Now that everyone knew that they have been dating for 5 years, they easily assumed that we will tie knot soon.

She was however in a different frame of mind, she wanted to study, secure a career, live life like a strong professional independent woman and then get married. You know, live a life before tying the knot – she didn’t want to just move from her maternal home to her husband’s home – she wanted to explore living on her own as well. Not that she didn’t want to get married to Rahul, she just, wanted some more time.

The pressure was stressing her out and it was affecting her mental peace and harmony. She started getting annoyed at the smallest of the things, started avoiding visiting Rahul’s home or even getting intimate with him, hung out with friends a little less just because she didn’t want to constantly keep defending herself for delaying the wedding.
                                                                                                                                                 Next



Saturday, November 17, 2018

1. The cute professor on the block


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She can vividly remember when she first saw him – walking into the college with a backpack, his walk wasn’t straight nor was it lopsided, she liked to call it a ‘penguin walk’. The sunlight crept into the hollow walkway from a narrow door; he emerged right from the sunlight making a silhouette of sorts.

“Is that the professor you were talking about?” She asked a second year student
“Yes! Suyash sir”

She has heard about him before, a teacher who is not as strict and is more like a friend to the students. Everyone loved him, few girls even had a crush on him and why not, he was cute! She also started liking him. That is the thing about BMM, the course was barely a decade old and often required practical learning thus people from the industry were called in to take up a few subjects. Since these industry experts are professionals and not really teachers, they are fairly young and have a good rapport with the students.

“Well, he is cute, he will teach me next year no?” she said with a glint of aww in her eyes.
“Yes, but you can attend his lecture today with me if you want. We have an open door policy here. 
You can attend other lectures as long as you don’t bunk your own lectures.”

She was a sincere student, attended all lectures, completed all the assignments, always on time, from that day onwards, she started attending his lectures regularly as well.

Index

This is a piece of imagination, so if it feels like it is about you – it is not. I have been trying to get myself to write stories for a while now; I never really got to it. Finally, I am trying with this series; hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it as much I am enjoying writing it.


1. The cute professor on the block
2. Too early to get married?